To date IRONMAN has postponed, rescheduled or cancelled well over 100 races due to COVID-19 (including its 2020 Kona World Championships). Staggering numbers. Still, there are a few IRONMAN triathlons clinging to late-2020 calendar dates. Despite its Safe Return to Racing plan and the overwhelming optimism of most triathletes, it feels increasingly unlikely that we’ll be toeing the line at any IRONMAN races this year.
Similarly the ITU pushed its 10-day 2020 World Championships — scheduled for Almere, The Netherlands — into September 2021. Athlete registrations will be automatically transferred. Surprisingly, the ITU insists that its Wenzhou, China World Cup race will take place on October 17-18, 2020.
Challenge Family Races has also cancelled and rescheduled a number of events, including its August 16, 2020 age group championships in Samorin, Slovakia, deferring it to next year. You can check on the latest status of all Challenge Races here.
Triathlon Magazine Canada maintains a devastatingly comprehensive list of event postponements and cancellations. When reading it, keep the affected race directors and vendors in mind… many businesses will be lost.
With stiff headwinds facing mass events, IRONMAN hurriedly launched its Virtual Racing Series and VR Championships to provide alternatives to real-world triathlons.
While not without its issues, the IRONMAN VR Series has kept many in the community focused and engaged. Almost 200,000 registrations were logged for the first 13 VR events and just over 60% completed their race’s 3 required sessions.
As the most important stakeholder in our sport, we need IRONMAN to succeed. So, show your support and give virtual racing a try… at least until real racing returns.
Maybe it’s because of the quarantine, but lately we’ve been listening to more podcasts. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Any list of tri podcasts must begin with Babbittville Radio, hosted by Bob Babbitt. With more than 5,000 interviews and 30 years of radio (and now podcasts) under his belt, Bob can truly claim that Endurance Lives Here. His attitude of “Never a Bad Day” combined with an encyclopedic knowledge (and love) of triathlon makes it feel like you’re eavesdropping on conversations between old friends. Check out his recent chat with triathlon legend Karen Smyers; it’s humorous and informative… perfect for your next long Zwift session!
Add Be With Champions with Greg Bennett to your playlist. Greg is a 3x Aussie champion and 2x Olympian with over 100 pro wins to his credit. His shared experiences with his guests establish a special rapport. Greg’s interview with Sebastian Kienle is candid and revealing, delivering insights on training & racing that you won’t hear anywhere else.
FASTER WITH FINIS
We’re psyched to welcome FINIS as the newest partner of TriathlonWire.
FINIS recognizes the unique needs of our sport, and has developed a line of innovative products that will make you a better, faster and more efficient triathlon swimmer.
We especially like their new Slide Dryland Trainer stretch cords. Its clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle. Perfect for keeping freestyle tone now, it’s also ideal for pre-event warmup when we finally return to racing.
TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE20 at checkout
The market for smart trainers was already taking hold in triathlon, thanks to early indoor training evangelists like Lionel Sanders and Andy Potts. Now, in response to the pandemic, smart trainers have become essential gear for triathletes interested in IRONMAN VR racing and other virtual riding experiences.
If you’ve decided to jump onboard (finally!), then check out this comprehensive review of your top options. Then, good luck finding one in stock!
- Point of the Spear
Have you ever wondered how fast the top pros actually go? Our friends at TriRating.com have compiled the fastest times and splits in full-distance IM races. There are amazing performances here, with a few surprises!
- 1 Hour
Only about 5% of age groupers post a 60-min IRONMAN swim. A 1-hour swim goal might seem audacious to many of you, but adopting a training strategy designed for endurance speed will deliver impressive results for athletes at almost any level.
- Class Clown
It was probably inevitable, but a disappointed athlete is pursuing a class-action suit against IRONMAN for failing to issue refunds for cancelled races. Similar attempts in the past have been unsuccessful, but – with even a slim chance of a big payout – it hasn’t stopped others from trying.